Pete Sessions is one of the Congressmen from Texas. He is also on the House Oversight Committee. He is also interested in the documents uncovered that led to the recent focus on the FOIA suit in Federal Court here in Dallas that I recently settled. Ryan Ethington, and aid to Congressman Sessions sent me an email last night asking for information regarding the scandal. The following information was conveyed:
On December 9, 2015 the Congressional Oversight Committee issued a report regarding the US Secet Service, a copy of which is provided with this notebook. That report focused on misconduct and ineptness of the Secret Service with regard to four specific incidents.
In one of the sections related to the Colombia scandal, the Oversight committee concludes that Mark Sullivan, the Director of the Secret Service, lied during his testimony before the Oversight Committee in his May 2012 appearance. Sullivan testified that the Secret Service has a “zero tolerance for this type of behavior (soliciting prostitutes in Cartagena), and he further denied knowledge of similar misconduct.
During the testimony of Mark Sullivan, I personally perceived the testimony of Mr. Sullivan to lack credibility. As a result, I began a four-year quest to uncover the truth about the culture of corruption within the Secret Service. In March of 2015 I was forced to file a suit in Federal Court to obtain the documents I’d been trying to uncover that should have been produced under 5 USC Section 552 (FOIA) within 20 days. One year after filing suit, and 3 ½ years after filing my initial FOIA request, the Court ordered, on Feb. 26, 2016, production of documents by the Secret Service, the OIG, and the DHS within 60 days. The Secret Service and DHS produced documents and have been dismissed from the suit. OIG has produced over 4000 documents and estimates they need at least 13 more months to produce responsive documents. (see recent e-mail of Lisa Hasday behind tab #2). The Court has refused to re-join the Secret Service even though OIG produced over 8263 documents on 6-17-16 to the USSS, after dismissal of the Secret Service. To date none of those 8263 documents have been produced. The Court has also denied my request for reimbursement of out-of-pocket attorneys fees of over $100,000.00, on the ground that there is no “public interest” in the requested documents.
There is however a significant public interest in the documents produced (see media coverage under tab#5) . A brief sampling of these documents is listed below, and has been provided to the House Oversight committee. I have attached behind this letter my summary of relevant portions of documents with identifying bates numbers to verify the information below. I have also included under tab # 7 a limited number of documents that illustrate the outrageous behavior of the Secret Service that is documented in the records produced.
Corruption related to Sexual InDescretions
- Multiple reports of soliciting prostitutes
- At least 22 USSS agents have witnessed solicitation of a prostitute by an agent, only one reported it.
- Exchange of sexually explicit e-mail, including nude photos, with Russian FFN
- Exchange of sexually explicit e-mail with Brazilian FFN
- Indecent exposure Austin Texas
- Inappropriate touching on two occasions
- Officer walking around apartment complex completely nude 2 times, videotaped
- Molesting juvenile boy in Virginia after giving him alcohol and date-rape drug
- Male Agent solicited sex from a man in Puerto Rico using a government computer, after sex in hotel room prostitute stole his gun.
- Agent took nude personal photos on phone and offered to send
- Misuse of government vehicles to transport prostitutes
- Multiple reports of domestic violence
- Orlando office-sexual harassment –naked pictures e-mailed
- Attempted rape of female agent while on assignment by a male agent
- Unwanted touching in an elevator
- Three counts of aggravated sexual battery and indecent liberties with a minor
- Rape in Montgomery County
- Agent missed flight home-at brothel, two prostitutes drove him to the airport
- Made employees drink on job so he could “trust them”
- Agent ask male employees, “Where are my little whore/bitches?” “Have you slept with them yet.:
- Senior agent stalked subordinate, calls 5 or more times per day, called to office and invited to shower with him. NTAC-“Nice Tits and Ass Club”
- Helped with a Visa in exchange for sex.
- Bigger office promised in exchange for sex
- Got a tour of White House in exchange for sex.
- Multiple e-mails with nude photos
- Took pictures of having sex and posted using government computer.
- David Neiland, investigator in Colombia scandal, history of sending nude photos of himself
- Sexting, later promoted
- Sex with underage girls in Utah
- Two week relationship with Turkish female
- Agent called a “creeper” ( man who cheats on wife)
- One night stands allow as policy
- Male agent grabbed breasts of female agent
- Sex with a foreign national while at the US Embassy.
- “Porno-gate” two senior managers had pornography on the gov’t computers,
- Agent masturbating in office and asked woman walking by if she wanted to “finish him off” When she declined, male agent threatened to deport her (was a US Citizen)
- Soliciting prostitute in full uniform, driving gov’t issued vehicle.
- When the applicant hesitated performing oral sex,”If you stop, your application stops.”
- Police had to be called when agent insisted on “happy ending” from a masseus
- Supervisor choked female when she didn’t reciprocate his feelings
- Sexual intercourse at headquarters after hours with fellow employee
- Blackmailed multiple women that would post nude photos of them on internet if reported
In four years before Cartagena 105 reports of contact with foreign women. After Cartagena 423 reported
- Agent involved with felon in illegal property investment business
- Domestic assault and battery of girlfriend
- Reported to work drunk
- Agent passed out in hallway of hotel
- DWI Breathalizer .23
- Assault with intent to cause injury
- DUI .24
- DUI .16
- DUI arrest-refused breathalyzer
- Speeding and DUI
- DUI Montgomery County
- DWI Maryland State Police
- Multiple extramarital affairs women he knew, and from web sites.
- Child abuse-hit head on car, head butted, planks, burpees, threatened to hit and slap
- Operating private business with government computer, and solicited sales from other employees
- Directing government contracts to unlicensed, uninsured and unqualified contractors
- Three agents-home in Atlanta-assault and taser
- Gave credentials to person for copying
- Retired agent driving a GOV to another state for personal matter
- Bar fight
- Caught having sex on White House grounds
- Unnecessary damage to hotel rooms
- “wheels up, rings off” parties
- Drunk in middle of day, drove car into a Verizon center.
- Intoxicated while working at Camp David
- Criminal histories and drug abuse being overlooked with new hires
- Martha Vineyard “partied like rock stars”
A summary chart was provided compiling information from 3-1-2004 through 7-12-10. The chart identifies 135 specific instances of misconduct including:
- 32 “off duty arrests”
- 6 cases sexual harassment
- Discharge firearm
- Deliberate disclosure of classified information
- Employee violence
- Prohibited personal actions
- Multiple time and attendance cases of fraud
- Multiple cases of physical/sexual/spousal abuse
- Rude/crude treatment
Secret Service Efforts to Cover Up Corruption
Having spent substantial time reviewing the thousands of pages produced as a result of my FOIA requests, it is clear that the Secret Service (1) only reports claims reported by outside police departments or complaints that are made by people outside the USSS, (2) the secret service only investigates by asking the accused if they are guilty, and (3) if there is an indication of culpability the response is to facilitate retirement, with benefits, rather than pursuit of criminal sanctions or at least firing the agent so that retirement benefits are eliminated. Here are just a few examples:
- Agents are given the option of taking a polygraph, giving a written statement, or refusing an interview
- In the Colombia incident, 34 agents refused an interview, and another 37 refused to give a written statement
- When questioned agents expressed fear of retaliation if they cooperated
- Agents involved in misconduct are often promoted because management can then exert control over them
- 22 agents reported knowledge of agents involved with prostitutes, only one reported
- When surveys are taken that are supposed to be anonymous, the USSS identifies the agents who report misconduct
- Before Colombia agents were told no need to report one night stands
- Agents in Colombia required to sign non-disclosure agreements-expressly prohibiting disclosure
of information to DHS
- Disparate treatment of agents for same indiscretions
- Re-location of agents at substantial personal cost as punishments
- What’s done on the road, stays on the road
- Agent told to “change the facts” re incident in Colombia
- Agent who blew whistle forced to resign
- Agents are often not disciplined for misconduct
- Deal made with OIG and USSS that USSS would conduct its own investigations
- “Word-smithing” of polygraph questions to elicit the desired answers
- “Silent answer test” used in polygraph to elicit the desired answers
- “Fudge” ratings for survey questions
- Person taking polygraph had himself used prostitutes
- USSS inspections “walled off” critical information
- Not uncommon for USSS to retaliate against employees
- “White washed” allegations of USSS employee misconduct
- Agents all warned not to discuss (Colombia prostitution scandal) with anyone,including DHS , except USSS Inspection.
Secret Service Coercive Behavior
- AT Smith lied regarding FOIA request, asserting that there was an “ongoing enforcement proceeding” when none existed
- AT Smith refused to produce any documents after one year that were responsive to FOIA requests and then coerced settlement with promise to produce only one document that should have been produced a year before
- AT Smith redacted information from statement of D. Chaney without even assertion of exemption or justification.
- Attorney from Justice Department asserted a claim for reimbursement of government’s
- attorney fees
- Agents are “TERRIFIED” to come forward due to excessive unchecked power supervisors wield
- It is not uncommon for supervisors too “blackball” agents or employees who are not in their favor, wrath follows even if transfer.
- Local supervisors force un-favored agents to move at great personal financial cost
- Reports of retaliation and reprisal for reporting malfeasance
Use of Taxpayer Funds for Corrupt behavior
- At least two documents indicate that the hotel “overnight” fees for the prostitutes was billed to the room, which the government eventually paid.
- Excessive use of alcohol is common practice and charged to the taxpayers.
- Payment of retirement benefits for people who have resigned after lying to Congress and/or being part of the corruption itself. The following people have resigned:
- Janet Napolitano
- Mark Sullivan (past director-lied to Congress)
- Julia Pierson (resigned after Amsterdam)
- Charles Edwards OIG Inspector at time of Colombia scandal (resigned after allegations that he
himself was corrupt)
- David Neiland (arrested coming out of a house of prostitution by Florida police)
- T. Smith (resigned 3 days before hearing before Congress)
- David Chaney (agent involved in Colombia, and agent assigned to guard Sarah Palin in 2008)
- Secret Service hired a PR firm, using taxpayer money, to convince taxpayers that their accurate perception of the Secret Service as inept and corrupt was not accurate
In January of 2016 Congress issued a report: A”FOIA Is Broken: A Report Staff Report 114th Congress January 2016A” https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/FINAL-FOIA-Report-January-2016.pdf The Oversight Committee said:
“FOIA should be a valuable mechanism protecting against an insulated government operating in the dark, giving the American people the access to the government they deserve. As such, FOIA’s promise is central to the Committee’s mission of increasing transparency throughout the Federal government. The power of FOIA as a research and transparency tool is fading. Excessive delays and redactions undermine its value. In large part, FOIA’s efficacy is limited by the responsiveness of the agency that receives and processes the request. On innumerable occasions, agencies have refused to produce documents or intentionally extended the timeline for document production to stymie a request for information. In many cases, American citizens find themselves frustrated by the total lack of response from the government they are asked to trust. Agencies overuse and misapply exemptions, withholding information and records rightfully owed to FOIA requesters.
Many agency FOIA offices have abandoned the statutory requirement to make a determination within 20 working days, or 30 working days in unusual circumstances. FOIA requesters have good reason to mistrust even fair and earnest attempts by agencies to fulfill requests. The FOIA process is broken. Hundreds of thousands of requests are made each year and hundreds of thousands of requests are backlogged, marked with inappropriate redactions, or otherwise denied. More experienced requesters push through the process in hopes of eventually receiving something. Less experienced requesters are shocked at the delays and procedural burdens. In the end, agencies close more than 40 percent of requests without releasing even one document.”
In the case at hand the conduct of the Secret Service, and AT Smith in particular, was unforgivable! Smith lied. He induced a settlement of a FOIA claim that had been pending for over one year without a single document being produced. He lied about documents being withheld due to an “ongoing enforcement proceeding.” He coerced me to give up my right to receive all the documents to which I was entitled in exchange for a single document to which I was entitled. Then when that document was produced it had been substantially redacted, without even explanation or the assertion of an exemption. He acted for his personal benefit by requiring a forfeit of any documents that would ever be produced regarding retirement benefit for agents that had to leave the service under suspicion of lying. When the documents were finally produced in this case, it became clear that one of the statements in the single document redacted was a statement of the witnesses willingness to take a polygraph test. Another document showed that he changed his mind by 12:30 p.m. that day and sent a one line text message that he was unwilling to take a lie detector test. It is also clear from the documents produced that there was never a “pending enforcement proceeding.” To make matters worse, the attorney for the government asserted a claim for the government’s attorney fees!!! Neither the Justice Department or DHS has been able to identify a single statute or case where a Plaintiff has ever been responsible for payment to the Federal government of its attorney fees in a FOIA case.
It has now cost me more than $100,000.00 in attorney fees to pursue this matter. The Court denied my request finding that there was no public interest in these documents. Imagine my surprise when these newspapers, internet sites, radio stations, and television station thought there might be a public interest in the case. The only reason I can participate further, is that I am an attorney and can represent myself pro-se.
President Obama declared in his first day in office:
“The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. . . . All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.” –President Barack Obama January 21, 2009
The Secret Service is totally and completely corrupt. The misconduct, corruption, cover-up, and coercion spills over to its handling of FOIA requests. If this Court doesn’t require compliance with the FOIA and demand accountability within the Federal Government then widespread corruption will be rewarded. If attorneys fees are not awarded in this matter FOIA will be shown to be useless. If the government is not required to comply with the law, then there is no accountability in government. When ordinary citizens are required to comply with the law, but the government is not, then citizens have no reason to trust in our government. The only way this Court 4can remedy this outrageous injustice is to shine a light on it. The Secret Service is desperately in need of disinfection.
Justice Brandeis said: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”
I expect to have a telephone conversation with Ryan today, and will report back. I am hopeful that Congress will address this corruption, cover-up, and coercive behavior.